GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — At first glance, they look like police officers, they even have the ride.
But look a little closer and you’ll see they’re volunteers with Citizens on Patrol, working alongside Georgetown police.
Bob Voss and Anne Justice are some of the 14 volunteers with the program that started last year. They work four-hour shifts, patrolling neighborhoods that are known for crime.
Volunteers aren’t just looking out for crime, they’re also looking for code violations, including debris on the side of the road and tall grass. It also frees up officers to focus on more serious crimes.
“If there’s an accident and there’s a wrecker waiting, they have to stand there and waste a lot of time waiting for the wrecker, and that’s something we could help them with,” Justice said.
So they’ll keep patrolling the streets, wherever they’re needed, with your safety their priority.
Volunteers have spent about 6,300 hours patrolling the streets. They’re trying to expand the program to weekends, and late nights, but they need more volunteers.
The Pflugerville Police Department launched a similar program in 1998. They have more than 70 active volunteers who provide traffic direction and report suspicious people.
In Austin, the police force uses volunteers to communicate with Spanish-speakers, write parking citations, assist with search and rescue efforts and help with safety fairs.